Roe v. Wade: Now what?

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Emotions are running high in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which strikes down the landmark case, Roe v. Wade.

The protests against the decision and celebration following it expose a deep divide in our country as people post their opinions on social media, fight in the comment section and prepare to march in protest against the decision.

It’s important that we not lose sight of the struggle that everyday people face without end. One that was here before Roe v. Wade was overturned and one that will significantly increase now that it’s been overturned. The everyday struggle of keeping families strong and together.

Now, more than ever, we should be supporting and volunteering with the groups who are tackling the realities of what families are facing. Millions of families are breaking apart each year in the form of divorce and foster care. Few—if any—have the exact same set of challenges. They require fast, flexible, and personal solutions.

For some families, the struggle begins with losing a job. Others begin with unplanned medical emergencies with nobody to care for their kids, substance abuse, mental health, and burnout. Most involve a combination of many underlying issues. All of them involve young families and single parents who are suffering alone with no social support.

The families struggling in America today don’t need another march on Washington or just a pro-life statement of celebration on social media, they need a local support system. Our nonprofit, Better Together, does exactly this in Florida.

Using a network of local volunteers, businesses, churches, and community leaders, we provide temporary homes to at-risk children while helping their parents find safe homes, jobs, medical and addiction treatment, child care, transportation, and more. We challenge people to step into the lives of the marginalized and underserved. Our program makes it easy to make a difference in young families’ lives.

Since our founding, we have provided safe homes for 3,200 children while empowering parents to turn their lives around. Using our model, 98% of families are able to stay intact, requiring no further intervention from the state.

Most of the families referred to us come from child services and law enforcement, and we often get referrals from pregnancy resource centers that support young mothers.

One of these women was Alyssa, who aged out of foster care and found herself pregnant at a young age. She was scared of parenting alone. A pregnancy resource center told her about our programs and she reached out for help.

We connected Alyssa with volunteers who walked alongside her every step of the way. They mentored and supported her before and after she gave birth, delivered meals and diapers, helped her find child care, open a bank account, and find a job with flexible hours.

They engaged the father and mentored him as well. They are going to counseling together and working toward a healthy co-parenting relationship for their baby girl. Alyssa keeps in touch with some of our volunteers, who have since become close friends and continue to give her support, advice, and encouragement on her journey of new motherhood.

Our work doesn’t stop there. Mothers and families continue to need direct support from their local community long after they sign out of the maternity ward.

We’re using what we believe is the most powerful but least leveraged force in America: Volunteers and the local church. We’re challenging everyone to do more. We’re asking churches that Sunday service never end, that on the days where a physical presence isn’t needed at a church, that churches have a physical presence throughout the week in the homes where it is needed.

The families we serve—80% are single mothers—do not have time to wait for sweeping reform that may never come, or policies that change with the political winds. They are fighting to build a better future for their children right now, at this moment, and we are in their corner, rallying volunteers, businesses, and churches to step up and help them get it done.

The Kellenburger family understands this concept, as they have welcomed over a dozen children in their home and have walked alongside struggling parents who have needed a mentor and friend.

Society grows strong when we help our neighbors in need, by helping people find work and giving everyone in our society a safe and loving person to call when life gets hard.

Don’t miss this moment in history. Don’t let your celebration or grief be extinguished in a vacuum. Be excited, be sad, but above all, be willing to act.

Posted June 24, 2022

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Cammara OvertonBetter Together Team

Cammara Overton
Collier County Family Care Coordniator

Cammara worked in the international nonprofit sector and served as a missionary overseas for 10 years before joining Better Together as the Collier County Family Care Coordinator. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from Florida Gulf Coast University. She has a heart for building relationships and serving women, children and their families and sharing the hope and love of Jesus Christ with everyone she meets. Cammara is passionate about coming alongside those seeking life change and helping them achieve all that they desire to do for themselves and their families. Cammara is very excited to be a part of the Better Together family by providing recourses and extending love and compassion to families in crisis.

Cammara and her husband, Dan, enjoy spending time playing volleyball and hanging out with friends and their Italian pup, Harley. They both have a passion for serving the Lord and being the hands and feet of Jesus in their community.

Jennifer MoffittBetter Together Team

Jennifer Moffitt
Tampa Bay Region Home Study Specialist

Originally from Massachusetts, Jenn moved to Florida in 1993 to be closer to her parents, who had left the snow behind the year before. In 1996, she graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in social work.

Jenn started her career working in private adoptions as a birth parent worker. After two years she was drawn to child welfare. For the next 19 years, she worked as a child protection investigator for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. In 2019 she began working for the Office of the State Attorney, 6th Judicial Circuit, as a child abuse specialist. She assisted prosecutors with interviewing child victims of abuse and neglect and served as a liaison with the Department of Children and Families and their local community providers.

Jenn and her husband, Shawn, were married on Christmas Day in 1999, and they have two boys, ages 12 and 20. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, shopping, taking day trips, visiting the beach, and vacationing in the mountains of North Carolina.

Katie MalloyBetter Together Team

Katie Malloy
Northeast Region Home Study Specialist

Katie was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, and attended the University of Mississippi, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Katie has been working with children and families in the foster care system in Duval County since 2015. Her passion is advocating for children in care and helping build strong and healthy families. During Katie’s childhood, her church community was a great support system for her and her family. She’s a firm believer that the more people who love a child, the better.

Ruth DavidsonBetter Together Team

Ruth Davidson
Southwest Florida Church Engagement Director

Ruth has a passion for serving others. She believes strongly in giving back to the community and paying it forward. She loves to share her personal story of how, with God’s help, she was able to overcome past hurdles. Growing up in rural Kentucky in a large family that faced many struggles, she knows firsthand how God’s love can heal and restore broken families. She has the gift of hospitality and enjoys communicating with others with the hope that she is never meeting strangers, only making friends.

Ruth comes to Better Together with over eight years of ministry experience. After moving to Fort Myers from Fort Lauderdale in 2016, she served as an outreach coordinator for a nonprofit faith-based recovery program for more than five years. She was also an administrative assistant to her directors, scheduling events and successfully developing and establishing relationships with several businesses and churches in Southwest Florida. She has a relaxed way of making others feel comfortable, possessing a servant’s heart and loves outreach and missions.

Ruth currently resides in Naples and enjoys traveling, dining out, cooking, entertaining and serving in her community. She has two grown children, Martin and Annie, and one grandson, Drew, who loves to visit with his Nana.

Amanda ColafrancescoBetter Together Team

Amanda Colafrancesco
Sarasota/Manatee Home Study Specialist

Amanda was born and raised in Rhode Island and moved to Florida in 2016. She earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees in administration of justice from Salve Regina University. Upon graduation, she began a career in child welfare, specifically toward a goal of preventing children from entering the foster care system. Amanda brings diverse experiences in serving children and families in their home environments to her work with Better Together as a home study specialist. She is also a certified child welfare protective investigator through the Florida Certification Board and has over six years of child welfare experience. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys visiting with family and friends.

Yohana RestoBetter Together Team

Yohana Resto
Southwest Florida Executive Director

Yohana brings to Better Together 15 years of experience working in child welfare. She has served in various roles, including case manager, clinical services specialist, relative search specialist, foster family recruiter, and most recently a role conducting comprehensive assessments for children in foster care or relative care. Yohana has a heart and passion for serving children and families, and she brings to the organization a wide breadth of knowledge and experience. A graduate of Southeastern University and Nova Southeastern University with a bachelor’s in psychology and Master of Science in counseling, Yohana has a caring and compassionate heart to support families in need.

Yohana loves spending time with her husband, Miguel, and their four children—Isabela, Natalia, Jaxon and Jayden. You can frequently find them at a soccer game, as their girls enjoy playing competitive travel soccer. Yohana credits her relationship with God and personal salvation as the motivating force behind her desire to continue to serve her community.

Dawson JordonBetter Together Team

Dawson Jordan
Creative Director

Dawson is an exciting addition to the Better Together Team. Since graduating college in 2015 from Florida Gulf Coast University with his bachelor’s degree in Business Management he has managed to create a successful career for himself as a self-employed freelance videographer/photographer. He has recently relocated back to his hometown in SWFL and is excited to join the team as the Creative Director to help us tell the Better Together story. Dawson is passionate about telling stories through a creative lens, especially when it comes to seeing families stay together and for individuals to thrive and become the best version of themselves. When Dawson is not in the office he likes to hang out with his friends, workout, and watch sports.